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Visiting the Amazing Team at the Children's Cancer Institute

It was a privilege and an honour to spend the morning with Maria Tsoli, Senior Scientist from the Brain Tumour Group and the rest of the team at the Children's Cancer Institute at UNSW.

During a recent visit at the Children’s Cancer Institute at the University of NSW, I witnessed firsthand the ground-breaking work of Senior Scientist Maria Tsoli and her dedicated team. Their relentless efforts in children’s cancer research have dramatically shifted the narrative from a near-certain death sentence to an astonishing 80% survival rate for afflicted children. This incredible progress is not just a statistic; it represents countless young lives touched by the hope that the institute has enabled.


One cannot help but be amazed by the technological prowess now employed in this fight against childhood cancer. The institute harnesses sophisticated robotics, accelerating the drug testing process that could traditionally span months into a mere matter of days. This approach enables rapid analysis, facilitating more progress of treatment discovery. Equally impressive is the ability to store hundred's of thousands of samples, representing decades of collections that form the foundation for ongoing research, allowing scientists to test new techniques and drugs continually, refining their approach with every breakthrough.


Yet, perhaps the most impressive of all advancements is the utilisation of 3D biological printing. At the institute, this technology transcends the conventional boundaries of medical science by simulating brain matter, providing unprecedented insights into how cancer cells thrive and propagate. This technique mimics the biological environment of brain cancer, offering researchers a unique vantage point to study the disease’s intricacies. Observing this, one grasps the immense potential this holds for developing targeted treatments, promising a future where children’s cancer may be altogether vanquished.


I personally want to thank Maria, Nadya Landey and Erica Donaghy for giving up their time last week, and also to everyone at the institute, with their great pioneering work that I watch in awe and gratitude.

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